Intel XTS100H CPU Cooler Review
By Rafael Otto Coelho on March 11, 2011


Introduction

Today we are testing the only CPU cooler from Intel available on the retail market, the XTS100H. It is compatible with sockets 1155/1156, has a tower heatsink, three heatpipes and a 95 mm fan. Check it out!

The XTS100H resembles to the DBX-B Intel cooler, which we already reviewed. The DBX-B, however, is bigger, and fits only socket LGA1366 CPUs. Although the name of this cooler is XTS100H, it is also sold as DHX-B or BXXTS100H.

This cooler can be bought alone, but it is advertised as a companion for the Intel Core i7-875K and Core i5-655K processors, which are unlocked, overclocking-aimed CPUs that come without a cooler.

The XTS100H box is big and uses the same graphical design used on Intel CPU boxes, as you can see in Figure 1.

Intel XTS100H
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Figure 1: Package

In Figure 2, you can see what comes inside the box: the cooler itself, thermal compound, and a manual.

Intel XTS100H
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Figure 2: Accessories

In Figure 3, you can see the XTS100H.

Intel XTS100H
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Figure 3: The XTS100H CPU cooler

In the next pages, you will see this cooler in detail.

The XTS100H

In Figure 4, you see the front of the cooler. It has a transparent 95-mm fan with blue LEDs, protected by a metallic grill.

Intel XTS100H
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Figure 4: Front view

In Figure 5, you can see the side of the cooler, where the three heatpipes are visible.

Intel XTS100H
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Figure 5: Front view

In Figure 6, you check the cooler rear side. The fins are plain here.

Intel XTS100H
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Figure 6: Rear view

In Figure 7, you can see the cooler from the top. Note the small switch that is used to set the cooler to the performance (P) or quiet (Q) modes.

Intel XTS100H
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Figure 7: Top view

The XTS100H (Cont’d)

In Figure 8, you can see the base of the cooler. It is made of finely polished copper, with a perfectly mirrored aspect.

Intel XTS100H
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Figure 8: Base

In Figure 9, you see the cooler without the metallic grill that protects the fan. The fan itself cannot be easely removed. Here we could see the name of the true manufacturer of the fan, Foxconn. The fan uses a four-pin connector, thus supporting PWM speed control.

Intel XTS100H
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Figure 9: Fan

The thermal compound that comes with the XTS100H is the Dow Corning TC-1996.

Intel XTS100H
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Figure 10: Thermal compound

Installation

The installation of the XTS100H is simple. First, put the backplate shown in Figure 11 on the solder side of the motherboard.

Intel XTS100H
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Figure 11: Backplate

Then put the cooler on top of the CPU and fasten the four screws that hold it in place. In Figure 12, you can see the cooler installed in our case.

Intel XTS100H
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Figure 12: Installed in our case

The fan has blue LEDs, as you can see in Figure 13.

Intel XTS100H
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Figure 13: Fan LEDs glowing

How We Tested

We tested the cooler with a Core i7-860 CPU (quad-core, 2.8 GHz), which is a socket LGA1156 processor with a 95 W TDP (Thermal Design Power). In order to get higher thermal dissipation, we overclocked it to 3.3 GHz (150 MHz base clock and 22x multiplier), keeping the standard core voltage (Vcore), which was the maximum stable overclock we could make with the stock cooler. Keep in mind that we could have raised the CPU clock more, but to include the stock cooler in our comparison, we needed to use this moderate overclock.

We measured noise and temperature with the CPU idle and under full load. In order to get 100% CPU usage in all threads, we ran Prime 95 25.11 (in this version, the software uses all available threads) with the "In-place Large FFTs" option.

We compared the tested cooler to the Intel stock cooler with a copper base (included with the CPU), as well as with other coolers. Note that in the past, we tested coolers with a socket LGA775 CPU, and we retested some "old" coolers with this new methodology. This means you can find different values in older reviews than the values you will read in the next page. Every cooler was tested with the thermal compound that accompanies it.

Room temperature measurements were taken with a digital thermometer. The core temperature was read with the SpeedFan program (available from the CPU thermal sensors), using an arithmetic average of the core temperature readings. During the tests, the left panel of the case was open.

The sound pressure level (SPL) was measured with a digital noise meter, with its sensor placed 4" (10 cm) from the fan. We turned off the case and video board cooler fans so they wouldn't interfere with the results. This measurement is only for comparison purposes because a precise SPL measurement needs to be made inside an acoustically insulated room with no other noise sources, which is not the case here.

Hardware Configuration

Operating System Configuration

Software Used

Error Margin

We adopted a 2 °C error margin, meaning temperature differences below 2 °C are considered irrelevant.

Our Tests

The table below presents the results of our measurements. We repeated the same test on all coolers listed below. Each measurement was taken with the CPU at idle and at full load. In the models with a fan supporting PWM, the motherboard controlled the fan speed according to core load and temperature. On coolers with an integrated fan controller, the fan was set at the minimum speed on the idle test and at full speed on the full load test.

 

Idle Processor

Processor at Full Load

CoolerRoom Temp.NoiseSpeedCore Temp.NoiseSpeedCore Temp.
Intel stock (socket LGA1156)14 °C44 dBA1700 rpm46 °C54 dBA2500 rpm90 °C
Cooler Master Hyper TX3 G114 °C47 dBA2050 rpm33 °C56 dBA2900 rpm62 °C
Zalman CNPS10X Extreme14 °C45 dBA1400 rpm27 °C53 dBA1950 rpm51 °C
Thermaltake Silent 115614 °C44 dBA1200 rpm38 °C49 dBA1750 rpm69 °C
Noctua NH-D1414 °C49 dBA1250 rpm27 °C49 dBA 1250 rpm53 °C
Zalman CNPS10X Performa14 °C46 dBA1500 rpm28 °C52 dBA1950 rpm54 °C
Prolimatech Megahalems14 °C40 dBA750 rpm27 °C60 dBA2550 rpm50 °C
Thermaltake Frio14 °C46 dBA1450 rpm27 °C60 dBA2500 rpm50 °C
Prolimatech Samuel 1714 °C40 dBA750 rpm40 °C60 dBA2550 rpm63 °C
Zalman CNPS8000A18 °C43 dBA1400 rpm39 °C54 dBA2500 rpm70 °C
Spire TherMax Eclipse II14 °C55 dBA2200 rpm28 °C55 dBA2200 rpm53 °C
Scythe Ninja317 °C39 dBA700 rpm32 °C55 dBA1800 rpm57 °C
Corsair A5018 °C52 dBA1900 rpm33 °C52 dBA1900 rpm60 °C
Thermaltake Jing18 °C44 dBA850 rpm34 °C49 dBA1300 rpm60 °C
GlacialTech Alaska18 °C43 dBA1150 rpm36 °C51 dBA1600 rpm60 °C
Deepcool Gamer Storm18 °C43 dBA1100 rpm35 °C48 dBA1600 rpm62 °C
Corsair A7026 °C56 dBA1900 rpm40 °C56 dBA1900 rpm65 °C
Deepcool Ice Blade Pro23 °C45 dBA1200 rpm38 °C52 dBA1500 rpm64 °C
AC Freezer 7 Pro Rev. 223 °C47 dBA1750 rpm44 °C51 dBA2100 rpm77 °C
Corsair H7027 °C60 dBA1900 rpm37 °C60 dBA1900 rpm61 °C
Zalman CNPS9900 Max27 °C55 dBA1600 rpm38 °C58 dBA1750 rpm63 °C
Arctic Cooling Freezer 11 LP25 °C45 dBA1700 rpm51 °C49 dBA1950 rpm91 °C
CoolIT Vantage26 °C60 dBA2500 rpm37 °C60 dBA2500 rpm62 °C
Deepcool Ice Matrix 60025 °C46 dBA1100 rpm41 °C53 dBA1300 rpm69 °C
Titan Hati26 °C46 dBA1500 rpm40 °C57 dBA2450 rpm68 °C
Arctic Cooling Freezer 1327 °C49 dBA1950 rpm41 °C53 dBA2300 rpm70 °C
Noctua NH-C1426 °C52 dBA1300 rpm37 °C52 dBA1300 rpm61 °C
Intel XTS100H26 °C49 dBA1200 rpm42 °C64 dBA2600 rpm68 °C

In the graph below, at full load you can see how many degrees Celsius hotter the CPU core is than the air outside the case. The lower this difference, the better is the performance of the cooler.

 Intel XTS100H

Main Specifications

The main features of the Intel XTS100H CPU cooler include:

* Reseached at Amazon.com on the day we published this review.

Conclusions

The Intel XTS100H is a good CPU cooler for socket LGA1155/1156 CPUs. It has shown a performance level that rivals to bigger coolers from brands that have more tradition in the CPU cooling market.

The main drawback of this cooler is not the fact it doesn't support other CPU sockets, nor its price, which is nice considering its performance. The problem is the annoying, extra-loud, high-pitch noise it makes while in the performance mode and the CPU is under full load. It was, actually, the noisiest cooler we tested so far.

Thanks to the good performance, the Intel XTS100H may be a good choice if you have an overclocked socket LGA1155/1156 CPU, if you don't require silence. But if you don't like a loud high-pitch sound while you are working or gaming, you can let it on the "quiet" mode (loosing some performance) or you can look for a different cooler.

Originally at http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/Intel-XTS100H-CPU-Cooler-Review/1217


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